Hiding and revealing, or the singer’s growth
Let’s sing a little song shall we?
One of my, if not my major, hobby is singing. I take a 45 min one to one lesson with a teacher every week, I used to have a band (that did not go further than the studio’s door because of all members’ other commitments, but still) and sang at various events including my company’s Year End party in front of a thousand people eating catering food and chatting casually (if you ever tried to capture that kind of attention, you know what I am talking about).
This is how much I love singing.
One very important aspect of singing is how everything, around and within you, can affect it. It is often said that breathing is the activity that links between the mind and the body, as it is the only automatic body function that can be easily controlled by all of us (I am not talking about yogis and athletes, who can control their heartbeat, as it requires extensive training). This is why it is used in meditation, in order to consciously influence the state of the body.
Well, singing is the extension of that. And anything around or within you can affect it.
This is why great vocalists like Mariah Carey or Celine Dion are famous for how control freaks they can get about their lifestyle. The first was elected worst hotel guest by Concierge.com a few years ago because of her over-particular demands, such as replacing toilet seats before she’d check in a new room. It is also said that the second goes completely mute for days before concerts to avoid putting strains on her voice (it would be like a runner not even walking from bed to shower for days before a marathon).
Of course, not all singers are control freaks, a lot even live a very trashy lifestyle. And it also reflects on their singing, although, with regular training, they can get over many hindrances.
I am always amazed by how my state of mind can just completely change my performances, far more than physical issues such as a bad cold or a lack of sleep. It happened to me twice that a sudden change in my life allowed me to immensely grow as a singer from one day to another. Both were about revealing myself, and about being about reaching higher pitches.
The first time it happened is the day after I finally told one of my good old friend that I had a crush on him. He did not reply positively (in fact he did not reply at all but that’s another story). Nevertheless, just the fact of getting it out, changed everything. The day after, I was training on “Decode” from Paramore and the high pitches I was always struggling to sing nicely in the refrain (or even sing at all) got out so naturally it would have been difficult to figure out that I was not able to do it the day before.
All of this because I felt relieved. At least it was out that I liked the guy and I did not have to worry about hiding or not daring to say something about it, ever again.
The second time was yesterday. As you probably know if you read my other posts, I am in a transition phase about doing work I love, and, for that, I also go through an extensive work on myself over different aspects, such as knowing my strengths or connecting with others. Through this process I have also started to be more myself at work, with friends, etc. I started to feel better and it reflected in my singing, a little. But yesterday was a particularly life-changing day in a sense that, I have finally decided to take starting my new business as seriously as hiring a coach to hold me accountable and, the same day, sending out the pre-requisites to the attendees of the first workgroup I will hold on connecting and inspiring, using the power of vulnerability. All in all, it was a huge coming-out to others and myself about my career choices.
The same evening I went to Karaoke with my friends and we sang “Let it Go” by Indina Menzel, first thing after entering the box. I am pretty sure you know that song unless you are living in a cave with no TV or internet, literally never going out, which I doubt because you are online reading my post right now ;-)
The first time I heard it in the Disney movie “Frozen”, I couldn’t hold my tears for so much I related with the character Elsa in this particular scene (which by the way says a lot about how I felt at the time about wearing masks in my life, especially at work). It is a really difficult song to sing (as very well explained in this blog ) and I had been training to sing it for a while already. Particularly, that last Eb5 on “Let the storm rage ooooooon” has been a real pain, as you both need to reach it, with your chest voice, and have enough breath to hold it long, despite running out from the continuous crescendo and sustained tempo of the song (I had the same issue, with my head voice, singing the high pitch at the end of All I want for Christmas is You by Mariah).
Well, as you guess, yesterday night, it came out like a charm.
I felt so relieved about taking that decision about my job, that I again started to feel connected with myself. It felt now ok to talk about it. Today I have even told my mum and some of my colleagues. I finally feel fine being myself at work because I know I don’t have to please everybody anymore in order to keep a chance landing that prestigious next job that’d make my resume look like the perfect little banker’s. Tu put it another way (and take it from the song):
…“Well now they knooooow”…
Hiding from others, yourself, not only puts a strain on your mind, it hinders your physical abilities too and creates a tremendous amount of stress. My teachers always agree that I have way too much tensions in my body, especially around the neck and shoulders, which prevents me from reaching high pitches (against the common reflex of “pushing” on your vocal chords to reach high notes, which is painful and can literally break your voice, the solution is all about relaxing the surrounding region).
The effects on my singing really shows how revealing myself to me and others massively removed tensions, in the shortest amount of time!
In a few words, Be Yourself, truly. Just ”let it go”~
P.S. Did revealing yourself to others, at some point, triggered major changes in your health, life? Did this article help? If yes, I want to hear from you!
Just send me an email.